The benefits of reducing stress are enormous. Here’s how to lower your levels:
Identify the Stressor
It may seem obvious, but figuring out what’s bothering you is a great first step in reducing stress. Often, we walk through life a little unconscious of what’s going on inside us—something that happened a week ago might still be gnawing at you today, just under the surface. Try free-writing to get to the root of the problem, or call a friend to talk it out.
Get to Bed
In addition to reducing cortisol levels, proper sleep balances levels of insulin, which regulates blood sugar, and ghrelin, the creepy-sounding hormone that signals hunger. No matter how much we’d like to stay up and ignore our body’s persistent pleas for more shut-eye, lack of proper sleep has some serious hormonal consequences—so make it a priority.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep on time, give your body some encouragement with Liquid I.V. Sleep, our new all-natural sleep aid that can help you ease into sleep faster, rack up more hours, and hopefully see results.
Exercise for Chill
We’re not talkin’ HIIT or Soul Cycle. These overly-stimulating exercises can actually put your body into fight or flight mode and up your cortisol levels, which is exactly what you don’t want. Try yoga, jogging or dance to break a sweat without freaking your body out.
Mindfulness & Breathing
Notice that your anxiety spikes whenever you go into a crowded grocery store? Or that you’re much more irritable when you haven’t eaten enough? The practice of observing your emotional reactions to the stimuli of life is called mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you bring consciousness to your feelings, so you can deal with them rather than pushing them under the rug.
When you find your heart racing, try slow, intentional breathing. Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold for 7, and exhale through your nose for 8. Repeat as many times as needed. Calming your body down decreases the production of our old buddy cortisol.
We know, we know, meditation is hard. No one likes sitting still, especially in a culture where we’re taught to keep moving at all costs. But meditation has proven benefits—including the gradual reduction of stress over time. Just sit in a comfortable position for ten minutes and try to focus on your breathing. Simple!